Making A Difference

By on September 18, 2018

If only we could transform the usual platitudes
Into meaningful choices and everyday attitudes
If only we could do the things we say we’ll do
Then we could make a difference profound and true.

And at the risk of sounding worn and jaded
I wonder what happens when the awareness ribbons are faded.
Tweets and likes and “Go Fund Me” donations
Have we fooled ourselves into being complacent?

Intentions are good but actions are best
When what we promise is put to the test.
Awareness is good but change is what matters
Plans left abandoned are like dreams lost and scattered.

Change is hard and the work never ends
Lift up the thoughts and prayers again and again.
Live your creeds with deeds and strong voices
Let your posts and thoughts breathe life in your choices.

Who am I to preach? What do I really know?
Making a difference is hard, and progress is slow.
I’ll take steps that are small. I’ll take steps that are steady.
I’ll start now with what I have, not when I’m “ready.”

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Speak out in the darkness and become the light
Shatter the mold and take up the fight.
In my library your child will always be protected
And in the stories their lives will be reflected.

I’m not looking for kudos. I’m not looking for praise
But to me social justice is more than a phrase.
And bullying is an evil I’m not willing to accept
And the status quo is something I vow to reject.

And when your child looks troubled I won’t look away.
I won’t be silent when there are things I must say.
Those who are different? I welcome them in.
Those who are lonely? I’ll find a friend.

I know I will stumble. It is inevitable
The weight of it all is quite incredible
But I won’t give up when I make a mistake
Because I know that there is too much at stake.

I may be just a teacher, just a keeper of books
But I know this job is more important than it looks.
My shelves are disheveled. My desk is a mess
But to your child I will give my best.

Thank you, Verona, for 17 years
I hope for many more you will find me here.
There is nowhere else that I would rather be
Thanks for reading and dreaming and growing with me.

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Photo by Robert Baker on Unsplash.

Jennifer Kleinknecht has been the media specialist at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School since 2007. She writes about life as a school librarian on her blog, “The ‘Yes’ Librarian”

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One Comment

  1. LINETTE MATHEWSON

    September 18, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    What a thoughtful, heartfelt and powerful poem. May teachers, students, parents and beyond find inspiration, power, and peace in your words.

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